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how can the country suffer by a process, under which the money is never one minute out of the pockets of the people ? You may just as well say that a man is weakened by the circulation of his blood. There may, certainly, be particular local evils and grievances resulting from the mode of taxation or collection; but how can that debt be in any proper sense a burthen to the nation, which the nation owes to itself, and to no one but itself? It is a juggle to talk of the nation owing the capital or the interest to the stockholders; it owes to itself only. Suppose the interest to be owing to the Emperor of Russia, and then you would feel the difference of a debt in the proper sense. It is really and truly nothing more in effect than so much money, or money's worth, raised annually by the state for the purpose of quickening industry. *
* See the splendid essay in the Friend (vol.ii. p.47.) on the vulgar errors respecting taxes and taxation.
“ A great statesman, lately deceased, in one of his anti-ministerial harangues against some proposed im
I should like to see a well graduated property tax, accompanied by a large loan.
post, said, “The nation has been already bled in every vein, and is faint with loss of blood.' This blood, however, was circulating in the mean time through the whole body of the state, and what was received into one chamber of the heart was instantly sent out again at the other portal. Had he wanted a metaphor to convey the possible injuries of taxation, he might have found one less opposite to the fact, in the known disease of aneurism, or relaxation of the coats of particular vessels, by a disproportionate accumulation of blood in them, which sometimes occurs when the circulation has been suddenly and violently changed, and causes helplessness, or even mortal stagnation, though the total quantity of blood remains the same in the system at large. · But a fuller and fairer symbol of taxation, both in its possible good and evil effects, is to be found in the evaporation of waters from the surface of the earth. The sun may draw up the moisture from the river, the morass, and the ocean, to be given back in genial showers to the garden, to the pasture, and the cornfield; but it may, likewise, force away the moisture from the fields of tillage, to drop it on the stagnant pool, the saturated swamp, or the unprofitable sandwaste. The gardens in the south of Europe supply perhaps, a not less apt illustration of a system of finance judiciously conducted, where the tanks or reOne common objection to a property tax is, that it tends to diminish the accumulation of capital. In my judgment, one of the chief sources of the bad economy of the country now is the enormous aggregation of capitals.
When shall we return to a sound conception of the right to property — namely, as being official, implying and demanding the performance of commensurate duties ! Nothing but the most horrible perversion of humanity and moral justice, under the specious name of political economy, could have blinded men to this truth as to the possession
servoirs would represent the capital of a nation, and the hundred rills, hourly varying their channels and directions under the gardener's spade, give a pleasing image of the dispersion of that capital through the whole population by the joint effect of taxation and trade. For taxation itself is a part of commerce, and the government may be fairly considered as a great manufacturing house, carrying on, in different places, by means of its partners and overseers, the trades of the shipbuilder, the clothier, the iron-founder,” &c. &c. - ED.
of land, - the law of God having connected indissolubly the cultivation of every rood of earth with the maintenance and watchful labour of man. But money, stock, riches by credit, transferable and convertible at will, are under no such obligations; and, unhappily, it is from the selfish autocratic possession of such property, that our landholders have learnt their present theory of trading with that which was never meant to be an object of commerce.
April 5. 1833.
MASSINGER. - SHAKSPEAPE.HIERO. :
To please me, a poem must be either music or sense; if it is neither, I confess I cannot interest myself in it.
The first act of the Virgin Martyr is as fine an act as I remember in any play. The
Very Woman is, I think, one of the most perfect plays we have. There is some good fun in the first scene between Don John, or Antonio, and Cuculo, his master *; and can any thing exceed the skill and sweetness of the scene between him and his mistress, in which he relates his story?+ The Bondman is also
* Act III. sc. 2. + Act IV. sc. 3.:“ Ant. Not far from where my father lives, a lady, A neighbour by, bless’d with as great a beauty As nature durst bestow without undoing, Dwelt, and most happily, as I thought then, And bless'd the home a thousand times she dwelt in. This beauty, in the blossom of my youth, When my first fire knew no adulterate incense, Nor I no way to flatter, but my fondness; In all the bravery my friends could show me, In all the faith my innocence could give me, In the best language my true tongue could tell me, And all the broken sighs my sick heart lent me, I sued and served : long did I love this lady, Long was my travail, long my trade to win her ; With all the duty of my soul, I served her. Alm. How feelingly he speaks! (Aside.) And she
loved you too ? It must be so.
Ant. I would it had, dear lady; This story had been needless, and this place, I think, unknown to me.